Smile-Healthy Lunch Ideas Your Kids Will Love
Are you more excited than your kids, about them heading back to school soon? After a long, hot summer it can be fun for the whole family to have a change of pace, and to enjoy the cooler temperatures that are coming. With busy school days, though, comes lots of lunch packing. Before you become overwhelmed trying to come up with healthy options your kids will actually eat, and certainly before you resort to the convenience of overly salty and sweet pre-packaged snacks, consider these tips from your pediatric dentist. After all, you can help promote healthy bodies and smiles by packing your kids’ lunches with nutrient-rich foods!
What Are Healthy Foods Your Kids Will Actually Enjoy
Remember, sugar is one of the biggest culprits behind cavities. So to prevent cavities and other dental problems, make sure your kids’ diet is made up of nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein and dairy products, rather than sugary treats which can be harmful for their young smiles.
When it comes to healthy options that are perfect for weekday lunches, consider these pediatric dentist-approved suggestions:
- Baby carrots are one good option, as are slices of bell peppers. Celery sticks are another great choice, not only because they’re crunchy like many of kids’ favorite snacks, but also because they’re high in water content. This actually makes them great for helping to clean the teeth. Plus, they are rather neutral in flavor, which means they go great with a number of kid-friendly dips, like peanut butter, ranch or a flavored hummus.
- When it comes to serving your kids fruits, just keep in mind that the more acidic the fruit is, the more damaging it could potentially be to their teeth enamel. While there’s no reason to deprive your kids the nutrient benefits of oranges, for instance, it is best to teach your kids to drink water after every meal, so that the sugars and acidity found in even healthy foods, like fruit, will at least be partially rinsed from the surface of the teeth. With dried fruits, remember that they are often higher in sugar content, and potentially sticky or hard as well. These can all be problems for dental health (checkups can help catch early problems), so use dried fruits only sparingly. Fresh is better when it comes to oral health!